On 16 January, Torres Law in the US published an article saying that in 2019 the US Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security entered into 6 settlement agreements with companies (not including individuals) for export violations of the Export Administration Regulations. Some of the companies were assessed civil penalties as a result of their violations, while others lost their export privileges. The article says that these enforcement decisions offer valuable insight as to the types of infractions and cost of penalties that could be handed down in 2020, and underscore the importance of disciplined export compliance for all companies subject to the EAR. It concludes that all of these companies received significant penalties for export violations and a lack of compliance with export laws, but that a fully implemented export compliance programmes are necessary to ensure compliance with the export regulations and to avoid licence-related errors.
On 27 January, the EU Sanctions blog reported that Estonian banks have refused to facilitate payments on behalf of Sputnik Estonia, a news agency owned by Russia Today, which has led to its closure.